Abstract # 7927 Event # 213:

Scheduled for Monday, August 28, 2017 02:00 PM-02:15 PM: (Grand Ballroom) Oral Presentation


EXPLAINING PLAY PARTNER PREFERENCES AMONG KANYAWARA CHIMPANZEES: ARE MALES SPECIFICALLY TARGETED AS PARTNERS OR ARE THEY SIMPLY MORE WILLING TO PLAY?

K. H. Sabbi1, M. E. Thompson1,2, M. N. Muller1,2, E. Otali2, Z. Machanda2,3 and R. W. Wrangham2,4
1University of New Mexico, Department of Anthropology, MSC01-1040, Anthropology 1, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA, 2Kibale Chimpanzee Project, 3Tufts University, 4Harvard University
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     Like male children, young male chimpanzees exhibit rougher play styles than females (Meaney et al. 1985). Among children this contributes self-organized same-sex play, reflecting both same-sex partner preferences and female avoidance of rough-and-tumble of male play-styles (Martin et al. 2005). However, among immature chimpanzees at Kanyawara, both sexes seem to prefer male partners after controlling for availability (Sabbi et al. 2016). In this study we ask: can this pattern be explained simply by increased willingness to play among males? Or do both sexes specifically target male partners in lieu of females? We observed 740 play bouts among immature chimpanzees (n=24,15 females, 9 males) of the Kanayawara community in Kibale National Park, Uganda from January-August 2015. For each bout, we recorded identity, age, and sex of initiating and target partners; and manner of play initiation and termination. There was no sex difference in total play bouts (T-Test, p=0.44), or bouts initiated per hour (T-Test, p=0.79). Males and females also terminated play bouts (T-Test, p=0.73) and rejected play bout solicitations at relatively equal rates (T-Test, p=0.89). However, when play bouts ended in switching partners, males were more likely to be selected as new partners (X2=7.183, p=0.0475). Thus, females were not less playful or less willing to play than males, supporting the conclusion that males were actively preferred partners of both males and females.